EIH makes no offer

SELEBI-PHIKWE: BCL Mine provisional liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren has issued a memo indicating that Emirates Investment House (EIH) will not be making any offer.

The memo that was issued on Sunday shows that the liquidator is now in the process of writing to all parties that have expressed interest in buying all or the majority of the assets of the BCL Group.

“If not, the companies will go into final liquidation and the assets will be sold,” he stated in the memo.

He added that this will not affect the care and maintenance operations in the short to medium term, however, it may be that additional parties may be coming to BCL and Tati Nickel mines to conduct site visits.

The provisional liquidator said the liquidation order was extended on May 14 this year for a further 30 days to June 15, 2017.

He explained that the justification for the extension was that the interested party had not yet completed its assessment of the companies and government was prepared to allow some extra time for it to do so.

“Another party has also submitted an expression of interest to me in all or part of the businesses of the BCL Group and this offer was of sufficient seriousness to warrant a request for a limited further extension.

“Although I have not received any formal notification to the effect, it now appears that the interested party that came on site in March and April will not be making an offer,” he added.

He explained that there have been reports that EIH had signed a memorandum of understanding with government for the purchase of BCL Mine.

He stated

that what is being referred to, is an agreement that was signed in February between government and the party.  He noted that the agreement was on the basis for the party to conduct its due diligence and it was not a share purchase agreement.

This comes at a time when everybody was convinced that the EIH has almost completed the purchase of the BCL Group.  In response, Dixon- Warren told Mmegi that he is not part of the negotiations with EIH and that he does not know what the actual status is and referred all enquiries to the ministry and Minerals Development Company Botswana.

“I am not aware of any offer from EIH and the period of exclusivity has expired hence I am seeking other interested parties,” he added.

A highly placed source in government has indicated that there had always been doubts about EIH’s ability to successfully operate the BCL Mine because of alleged lack of mining background and the fact that BCL is generally a complex mining operation.

Botswana Mine Workers Union’s general secretary, Moffat Ramokate expressed disappointment at the events and said the union has just been reduced to spectators instead of being treated as an interested party in the BCL issue.

He said there has never been any consultation with the union.

“We only heard about EIH deal in the streets and the issue appears to be between the liquidator and government and we suspect foul play by those in authority,” he said.

http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=69045&dir=2017/may/24

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